The year 2002 was the best for the US team. In the first round, the US surprisingly managed to beat the favorites Portugal’s Figo: 3-2 by one own goal from Jorge Costa and two goals from John O’Brien and Brian Mc Bride. The second match was a draw with hosts South Korea: 1-1 through Clint Mathis. The third match was lost to Poland: 3-1 with Landon Donovan saving the honor. The second round saw a US victory against Mexico; 2-0 by Mc Bride and Donovan, then came the disaster against Oliver Kahn’s Germany in the quarters. The US scored a goal and deserved a penalty after Werder Bremen’s Thorsten nFrings used his hand to stop a US goal, The Scottish referee Hugh Dallas continued as nothing happened and Michael Ballack scored the only goal against mighty Brad Friedel. That was sad because the US team had the potential to do much better than that, Bruce Arena was pround of his team. In a country where basketball, baseball and American football were the common practices, soccer was getting its lot among US fans.

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